As experienced educators will tell you, back to school activities for middle school are very important for a number of reasons. Firstly the activities should encourage kids to get to know one another; in other words ice breaker activities. Secondly the way that the academic year starts off, tends to set the tone for the rest of the year. Thirdly, as many educators feel, kids are in a ‘take in’ mode during this first part of the year and are paying attention to the teacher.
Whether you’re an educator or a parent who is looking to make suggestions to your child’s teacher, you may like some ideas to get the most out of your child’s back to school experience.
The informal chat
The teacher can begin to break the ice with their new students by offering some information about themselves. It may be a good idea to lay down a few ground rules about boundaries – things that students are welcome to do in class, things that will not be tolerated and so on. In return the teacher can invite the students to offer similar inputs about what they think of their teacher, what they expect of the coming year as well as to share any doubts and apprehensions they may have.
A few of my favorite things questionnaire
The class teacher can set a little time aside for the kids to create a time capsule. This could be a little questionnaire that asks kids about their favorite music, book, and friend and so on at the beginning of the year. The child’s height, weight and handwriting as well as the child’s aspirations for the coming year are also a part of the questionnaire. The same questions and parameters can be examined again at the end of the year.
Guess who flash cards
The teacher can put various words or phrases on the cards – book-lover, singer, gamer, outdoorsy, ball-player, fashion designer, poet – take your pick. Then the teacher can simply raise each card and ask kids whom this applies to. This can be a great ice breaker, kids will get to know a lot about each other; and exercise gives the teacher valuable insight into their students as well.
The welcome sack
This may be a good idea for a teacher to make their students feel welcome and to get a little head start in getting the students to look favorably upon the teacher. The welcome sack can contain little odds and ends such as a bookmark, a sticker, a little treat, a free homework pass and so on.